Thursday, 23 November 2017

I'm Screwed

My new single is finallllly out! :D

I'm Screwed, a cheeky song about liking someone to escape real life problems (and realising that's not right). Cause you know that's not right.


There's also a pretty video we shot with Go out of Tune in one shot! Watch me chase and be chased by hot guys and be slapped by a pretty scouse girl:


And share away! 
--
You can buy it on Bandcamp (also includes instrumental version) and it's also available on iTunes and Spotify (you know what I think about Spotify though...) 


Let me know what you think! :D

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Birthdays

On my birthdays I always wake up feeling somewhat nostalgic and dim. It might be the social pressure of having to make it a special day, having to celebrate, or that I don't particularly cherish the fact of organising parties for myself. It might be the realisation of time passing. Or it might be that my birthday is, for me, a time to sum up wishes and achievements and see where I'm at, and this always turns into a very depressing and dramatic inner dialogue, which is not the lightest way to approach a day of celebrations.

Despite all this, I also usually take the occasion to look at who I am (not only what I have or have done) and I usually realise that I am quite happy and satisfied with the person I am. I might not be where I'd like to in terms of geography, career, sentimental relationships, wealth, or whatever, but I am quite proud of the person I've become so far (there's obviously still a lot of space for growth, and I'm happily learning progressively each day!).

Most of all, I am most grateful to all the people and situations that have led me here, being them "positive" or "negative".
Every year on 9th June I thank my mother for bearing me in her body and delivering me to this world of light, for fighting against gravity and feeding me and teaching me things and scolding me and being absent and being present and loving me no matter what and making me doubt she does and confirming she does and being strong for me and being strong for herself and being weak for herself, for helping me and needing help, for being near and being far.
I thank my mother's mother and all the people with some bits of my blood in their blood and I thank everyone I've exchanged words with, everyone I've exchanged warmth with (being it literal or abstract).
I am grateful for the people who've said happy birthday, the ones that frowned at me, the ones that congratulated me, the ones that envied me, that ones I envied, the ones that loved me and hated me, the ones I've loved and hated, the ones that smiled at me crossing my path and then left without knowing my name.
Each little bit made me what I am, and I have joyfully received them and collected them, trying to make the best of them, trying to become a better person each day.

I love my life, I love this sun (sometimes visible, sometimes not, it's always there!), I love this earth, I love this time, I love myself and all of you and them.

A very merry unbirthday to you! :)

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Sing With Pride

People are still being beaten up, people are still being shouted at, people are still being discriminated, people are still being taken to concentration camps, people are still being killed.
We still need a Pride, we still need to shout our pride, we still need to show the world we are just like everyone else, we still need to fight to feel equal, we still need to fight to get an equal treatment.
That's why we still march, that's why still sing, that's why we still fight.
--
And that's why I was part of Digital Pride this week, to tell the world that my sexuality doesn't make me a lesser human being. I'm just like everyone else, I love like everyone else, I should be loved like everyone else.
Thank you Gay Star News for making this possible. <3

Thursday, 23 February 2017

New Single Out Tomorrow!!!

TOMORROOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWW!!!
DOMAAANIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!!
DEMAAAAAAIIIIIINNNNNNNNNNN!!!!
AMANHÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃ!!!!!!!
MAÑANAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!
HOLNAAAAAAPPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!
明天!!!!!!!!

Friday, 3 February 2017

Ryan Is Gay And I Am Too

It's not a secret that the life of a homosexual (or bisexual or any not-completely-heterosexual) starts slightly more complicated than "normal" people's.
We grow up surrounded by examples of life that don't match what we are, we feel shame of what we are and feel and want, we hide, we are scared.
It's a long process, the one that resolves in the complete acceptance of ourselves, and it goes through lies, secrets, fear.
Luckily, I've lived in a very open minded family, in a time and in places where sexual orientations that differ from the dominant one are not a crime, and crimes against LGBTQ people are not the norm, but rather exceptions to it.
Despite that, it did take a long time for me to accept who I was, lying to myself first, then to the people around me, till I finally realised that if someone wasn't OK with it, it wasn't my problem, but theirs. I was probably around 22 then.
All the time before that, when talking to someone, I always asked myself if it was appropriate to say that I had a boyfriend, or that I fancied that one boy, or that the reason why my eyes looked so sad was that I had just broken up after a 3 year long relationship with my first boyfriend. Very simple things that any heterosexual person doesn't really need to ponder on. While everybody was getting into relationships in high school, I couldn't allow myself to fancy anyone. When my grandmother asked when I would bring a pretty girl home, I just had to smile without answering. Think about how many things are given for granted by you, but that for me were a deep stab in my stomach.
In particular, in my personal experience, I've always feared females' judgement less than straight males'. In my teen age years, it was very hard for me to befriend boys, scared that they would mock my more sensitive attitude or different tastes. After I came out, I was still scared that they could judge me for my sexual orientation, and I withdrew in a shell whenever around them. It was probably all in my head.
At some point though, I was strong enough to stop filtering myself (I don't deny that my environment probably helped me doing that) and here I am, writing about it where anybody can read it.
It took huge efforts, but what helped me was the realisation that I didn't want to live a life that wasn't mine.


Fast forward to a couple of years ago, when I wrote my first explicitly gay song, challenging my shame once more.
The first times I performed it I was very self-conscious. What would have people thought of that? Of me? When one of  the first things strangers knew of me on a stage was that I was gay. Luckily, lately I've seen a few gay songwriters explicitly singing about their feelings, but that's definitely still the exception.

So last year, when deciding which song was going to be my first single, I chose exactly that one, Ryan, to exorcise this heavy and painful burden I've carried on my shoulders for so long.
It's not that homosexuality is my main trait (nor anyone elses! We are not gay men, we are not lesbian women, we are men who are also gay, women who are also lesbian), but after hiding it for so long, I wanted to shout it out and shamelessly.
I was prepared for rejection and hatred, but all I got was a warm response, people humming along and requesting the song at gigs, people sharing the video online, messages from friends and fans telling me how much they liked it.
These people included the ones I had avoided for fear of rejection in my younger years. The amount of straight males who loved the song and supported it in many different ways was definitely what surprised me the most. The shame of my sexuality was finally killed by the extreme support all these people gave me without even noticing how much it has positively affected me.
How stupid was I, hiding my authentic self to avoid a rejection that probably would have never happened!

It is because of strong, brave people that this is now possible. People who were not afraid of what they were, and fought for their (and my and our and your) rights. People who suffered the consequences of their brave and just actions and had to face the ignorance of a society that feared the different.
Although the stigma is still real in many ways, I am lucky to live in a time and a society where I am able to be who I really am and completely.

Not everybody could say the same in the past, not everybody can say the same now and my gratitude for all the human beings that have made their part in achieving this and still are fighting for complete equality for ALL human beings is endless.


(February is LGBT History Month, let's celebrate love, let's celebrate our selves)

Monday, 2 January 2017

Joy Love Authenticity

Hey,

It was an amazing year here.
It was the one in which I realised my life is one (for now?) and that I should and can and want to live it the way I feel.
To start, I had to stop thinking that I had to live abiding to the thought of keeping up with my past self, build my decisions on who I had been, on financial security, on what people expect you to do. 
If you're doing a job you don't like only because you've always done it and because you need to earn/save more money, or because people or yourself think you should do it, that's not a good start on the path to happiness.
If you're sitting at your thousands-of-pounds-making office chair but you're unhappy, who knows if you're happiness could instead be found washing mugs in a coffee shop? 
We are pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. If we sit in the wrong place, the whole puzzle will be affected. The right piece won't be able to get in the right place. We will be unhappy and the other pieces will be. So if you don't fit where you are, change your place. Do it for yourself and for the right piece and for the rest of the world.
Sometimes we think we do what we like but we don't really. Sometimes we know we do what we don't like but we do it nonetheless, lying to ourselves saying that that's the only way. But there are sooooo many ways! You will have to compromise, you will have to skip that trip to Paris you were thinking of doing, you might have to drink less beer to put your money in the pocket and buy tomorrow's lunch, you might have to eat out three times less per month. But if in the rest of your time you are actually walking towards your dream and actively working to achieve it, you will be happy just because of that.
I swear it's true. Because this is what I did in my 2016. Quitting my full time job, without the security of finding something else but with the passion driving my mind. 
In times of need, your mind works cleverly. And if passion propels your thinking, your dream will be closer each day.
2016 was the first year of my life in which I have fully followed what I love and the rewards have been coming week by week. I have achieved goals I had tried to achieve for years, I have surrounded myself with likeminded people who have made me grow a great deal, I do every day what I mostly love.
It's not about luck. It's about how much you want it, how much you are ready to work your ass of for it. But it happens. Happiness happens. Success happens. Love happens. It happens together with struggle, but that's part of the game. A beautiful, exciting game.
I've tried to live each moment fully, to remember the past with wisdom and look at the future with hope.
But the present was (is) my main attention. 
I've looked every day at the best things of the past 24 hours. I kept a list in a notebook. And every day I have found something to smile at.
Try in your 2017. And if you don't find anything in one particular day, look closer. Because there is. Opening your eyes and seeing colours is such a beautiful thing to start with and that happens every day. Imagine how many joyful things we overlook and give for granted. A great way to feel happier, is to accept that we actually have all we need. Happiness happens in every moment but we don't even notice. 

It was a year full of struggles and choices and daunting moments, but I've fought to achieve my goals and ultimately happiness and I can say that I might not be where I'd like to be yet, but I'm happy nonetheless.
It all boils down to living your present with joy, love and authenticity. 
Do the things that give you joy, be around people you love, be yourself completely.
It is that simple :)
-
Thank you for having been part of me this year, I hope you'll be here in 2017 too, and I wish you happiness in any condition you will find yourself in.

Love,

Valerio

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Illuminate



Some people are sad,
Some people are angry,
Some others are joyful,
Some others are positively hopeful.

All we can do, in a world that's divided,
Is being kind to everybody.
Being kind to our neighbour,
Being kind to our enemy.
And if you really think love is the answer
Start practicing it now.
Stop dividing yourself from your environment,
Stop dividing your feelings for the humans around you.

Today, and every day from today on,
Be kind to everybody,
Be kind to anybody.
Behave,
Practice unconditional love,
For any of the candidates,
For any of your parents,
For any of your brothers,
For any of your friends and lovers,
For any of the passers-by that give you a smile,
For any of the passers-by that don't give you a smile,
For any of the cashiers at the supermarket,
For any driver that gives you the middle finger,
For anyone in a rush that jumps the queue,
For anyone.

Because if you don't like hate,
Then why do you hate?
Hate puts you in a stall,
It creates walls,
And it grows bigger and bigger around you and bigger and wider and bigger and wider and bigger and wider inside you and bigger and wider around you.

But if you're angry, anger makes you react.
And if love propels your anger,
Love will become bigger and bigger around you and bigger and wider and bigger and wider and bigger and wider inside you and bigger and brighter around you.

So today, don't hate, and never again from today.
Just love,
And believe that anybody can make the right choice.
Anybody has a light inside.
Your job is to look for that light and make it brighter with your own light.

Illuminate.